Te tukanga whai taonga
Primarily, Te Papa collects items that have (or might grow to have) iconic value for New Zealand. We receive funding from the government for collections development, enabling us to acquire major items of national significance.
Te Papa collects significant cultural property and information related to Te Papa’s vision in order to document, illustrate, and explore the natural and cultural heritage of New Zealand and those parts of the world that have contributed to our country’s identity.
We do this to:
- capture the imagination of New Zealanders
- anchor concepts, values, and ideas to tangible objects
- add to the record of scholarship, including mātauranga Māorimātauranga Māori Māori knowledge systems
- provide a resource for research.
Development of the collections is informed and guided by collection development strategies. These strategies are reviewed periodically.
Items enter the collection in various ways, including through:
- collection in the field
- commission by Te Papa
- exchanges with other institutions
- donation or bequest.